Perhaps you’ve heard about the Art Shanty Projects or maybe not. The Art Shanty Projects have been happening for several years and have been on White Bear Lake and more recently on Lake Harriet. They were going to take this year off and regroup but I was excited to learn it will be happening again in 2020!
The Shanty Projects will be open for four weekends with opening weekend on January 18-19. They will continuing the following three weekends (Jan 25-26,Feb 1-2 and Feb 8-9). If you like to plan check out the schedule for each day here.
We’ve been to the Art Shanty Projects the last three years and each time loved it. It’s a free event, which of course is a huge bonus. The temporary village on the ice is really something you just need to experience first hand. Each individual Shanty has it’s own story, brought to life in an interactive artistic form.
A few tips if you decide to visit the Art Shanty Projects:
- Dress warm, layers if possible. You’ll be on a lake and sometimes the wind is very different than what you think it will be.
- Wear comfortable but yet warm boots. Again you will be on the ice, but also walking around. This is MN, this is winter.
- Occasionally they have food truck options, but I suggest bringing some snacks with just in case. Or like us last year, we sort of lost track of time going in and out of the Shanty’s so the snacks came in handy.
- Plan ahead for parking, there’s also a free bus option if you go opening weekend.
- Keep an open mind. There’s a list of the Shanty’s and it gives a description for each one. We decided to be surprised with some of them and did not read anything, just walked up and opened the door. Sort of like “What’s behind door #1”.
- GO and HAVE FUN. It really is something everyone in MN needs to experience.
Additional information about the Art Shanty Projects:
Art Shanty Projects transforms a frozen lake surface into a creative community space that is part art gallery, part art residency and part social experiment. Thousands of people are drawn to our outdoor event during a time of year when weather often keeps residents isolated. The unpredictable wind-swept, snow-covered location challenges artists to generate platforms for unique experiences while contending with natural and human elements.
Past shanty artists have elicited public interactions around such varied activities and inspirations as stress-relieving practices in a geodesic dome, curling competitions, lively debate forums and soap-box proclamations, kinetsthetic pedal-powered polar bear puppet rides, a life-sized music box, a giant zoetrope, and an imaginative elevator ride. Artist-audience interactions have become integral to our mission.
In addition to the interactive multidisciplinary component of the shanties, programs of performance art happen throughout the four weekends of the festival. This work takes the form of multiple, smaller performances and interactions that are not necessarily tied to a particular shanty, sometimes take place withing a structure, and sometimes happen in and among the visitors walking on ice. Past programming has included creation of a living snow globe, ‘snowga’ (yoga in snowsuits), spontaneous a cappella singing on the ice and art car parades.